Allergies 

So this is what the start of my holidays look like. I had anaphylaxis this afternoon – ironically after doing a course on the treatment of anaphylaxis. As most of you would have picked up on by now I have a lot of allergies. I try to live my life without troubling people and without causing a fuss. Mostly my allergies only affect me if I ingest a reactive food but with spice it’s a whole new ball game. One sniff of cardamom can lead to a trip in the ambulance and some time spent in hospital. Today in our course I felt shocked that someone could stand in front of a group of people and claim ‘the worst case I’ve ever seen was…’ ummm hello? It’s not a contest, it’s not my fish is bigger than your fish. It is a debilitating illness that is not only painful and frightening, it is life threatening. Health should not be a contest. Allergies are certainly not a contest. I’d hate to think that people who have witnessed me experiencing anaphylaxis would share these tales. By all means share your knowledge and spread awareness, but adding comments like ‘you should have seen her face?!’ Is not treating someone with the dignity and respect they deserve. Take a minute to think about how it feels to be the person experiencing the reaction. My experience today.. my hands started to swell, my body temperature began to climb, my lips became tingly- I’d say most people would freak out about these sensations.. but it gets worse. My lips began to swell, my tongue became swollen and my throat constricted. I could not breath. I had to choose whether to give myself an Epipen or call out for help and hope someone would hear me… does this sound like an interesting story to share with a bunch of strangers? Yes my lips were so swollen that it may seem comical until you realise that I could die. Anaphylaxis is not just something that happens to people on the news. It is very real and very, very frightening. I am so grateful to my brother Mark and his partner who phone the ambulance for me. Once I administered the adrenaline my airway cleared enough for me to walk 20m to find help. I’m also grateful to my mum who came and sat with me in the hospital as I underwent more tests. #anorchidsview

I want to thank all the kind souls who have helped me when I was unable to phone an ambulance or inject myself. The souls who try so hard to keep me safe, the ones who ask if they’re not sure, the ones willing to assist, learn, change and understand. It’s frightening for the first aider and for the patient. It is not something that I would want to experience if I had the choice. Sadly for many people there is no choice. This is life. I was shocked to hear how much an Epipen can cost. While in emergence this afternoon a doctor told me of the cost of pens around the world. In Australia we are so lucky to have ours subsidised by the government. We can have two Epipen for less than $50.. in the USA one pen can cost upwards of $600. In the last 6 months I have had 4 attacks. If I lived anywhere else I couldn’t afford to pay for life saving medication. Pretty scary! I’m so very, very grateful. Please everyone, support your friends, your family, your coworkers, teachers, drivers, doctors… be careful what you bring to share. YOU have a choice of consuming particular foods. Allergy sufferers do NOT have a choice of triggers. #anorchidsview #anaphylaxis 

11 thoughts on “Allergies 

  1. keepupwithkenz says:

    I had a terrible allergic reaction december 23rd which kept me in the ICU. The doctors told me they had never seen a reaction like this before – I was given 2 epipen shots and broke out in hives. So scary!

    Like

    • anorchidsview says:

      You poor darling! I have experienced a 2 epi pen reaction.. it really frightened me too. Normally one will work and I know I’ll be okay. But this particular reaction one epi pen gave me no release. After the second shot my breathing became easier. The ambulance administered another shot of adrenaline on the way to the hospital. I too landed in icu for that reaction. It’s horrible.. and for our friends and family it’s is scary. My experience does not take away from yours at all. While in a way it is reassuring that I am not alone, I’d never wish this upon anyone. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think the general public need to be aware of how much allergies can impact upon people’s lives. You lived through a horrific ordeal and I’m proud of you for sharing. I hope you never have to repeat that experience.

      Allergies are very frightening. No matter if it’s an anaphylactic reaction or a rash.. the body is fighting and sometimes the patient does not know why. I hope that you had someone there to help you.

      Once again, thank you for sharing – may we together with our voices united we may make a bigger difference.

      Everyone:
      Please be aware that a person never chooses to have an allergy… but you can choose what you eat/bring/share. Be careful everyone. A reaction doesn’t just mean an epi-pen and everything will be okay. It may take months for the immune system to repair and an episode can also impact upon a person’s mental health. Allergies can also affect someone financially… it’s bigger than one might think.

      Liked by 1 person

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